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Golden Water: Issues and Trends Relating to the Use of Water in Chile

Juan F. Mackenna, International Mining and Oil & Gas Law, Development and Investment (2009)

Abstract: This paper briefly provides an overview of the importance of water, the current situation in connection with water consumption and needs in the world and in Chile, the conflicts that arise among the different users and interested parties in connection with water due to scarcity, contamination, overexploitation and inefficiency. The paper further summarizes the legal framework and water management policies in Chile based in a market mechanism that has been an effective solution to the challenges of an equitable and sustainable use of water, while providing a sense of reality as to the value and needs in connection with this most precious natural resource.

I. THE IMPORTANCE OF WATER.

As global population and economies continue to grow, and global warming and environmental change threatens both the quantity and quality of the world's fresh water resources, attention has increasingly focused on the state and management of one and likely the most important of natural resources: WATER.

All along history the most important philosophers, artists and politicians have recognized the fact that water is the beginning and could be the end of all things

“Water is the beginning of all things”

Tales de Mileto.

“Water is the vehicle of nature”

Leonardo da Vinci.

“The person capable of solving the water issues shou